Athletes and Overuse Injuries

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about sports related overuse injuries.

Are overuse injuries preventable?

Dr. Jeffrey James discusses how overuse injuries can be prevented. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

Are overuse injuries preventable

Most overuse injuries can absolutely be 100% preventable. There's several things we look at as far as prevention of overuse injuries. One is gradual escalation of their training program, so just gradually starting an activity, not going out at 100% trying to run a marathon the first day, but gradually building up your mileage. The same thing goes for athletic activity, sports teams. We like to gradually start with a pre-season where you have limited activity and gradually build up over time. Some other things are adequate rests between activities, so trying to give yourself some period off between changing sports is a good way to avoid an overuse injury as well as, particularly in young kids, not doing more than one sport per season. Some people try and do soccer and track and it eventually leads to problems. Adequate rest and nutrition is key to preventing injuries as well as making sure to cross train at times, so that you're not just using the same muscles over and over again. That leads to muscular imbalances that can lead to other issues.

   

Most overuse injuries are 100 percent preventable. There are several things you can do to prevent overuse injuries. One is gradual escalation of a training program. This means not trying to run a marathon the first day, but gradually building up your mileage. The same thing goes for athletic activity on sports teams. We like to gradually start with a pre-season where you have limited activity and gradually build up over time. Adequate rest and nutrition are key to preventing injuries. Give yourself some time off between changing sports. This is a good way to avoid an overuse injury. It’s also a good idea to only take part in one sport each season. Some people do soccer and track at the same time and it eventually leads to problems. Cross training is also important, so that you're not just using the same muscles over and over again.

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Source: Jeffrey James, DO, Jon Sulentic, DO, Premier Orthopedics; Justin Perkins, Premier Health athletic trainer; American Medical Society for Sports Medicine; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases